I am an avid bicyclist. I ride for pleasure, I ride for transportation, I ride for recreation. In the town where I live and ride, bicycle theft is a serious problem. In 2009, I had purchased a beautiful, new, chrome Gary Fisher cross bike as my daily ride to and from class at the local state college. That bike was so well suited to my body and riding style, and I loved it dearly.

I still remember the day I came out of class to the bike rack and couldn’t find my ride. In rapid order I went through the clichéd ordered list of emotions of grief and loss. That was a very hard and trying week for me.

It wasn’t my fault that my bike was stolen; the responsibility for that laid entirely in the lap of the asshat who cut the cable lock and rode away with my bike. At the same time, I came to learn my actions had made the malfeasance significantly easier. I had exercised some lousy judgement; I had used a cable lock to “secure” something valuable to me, and some cretin acted fast to take advantage of my ignorance and naiveté. I firmly resolved that my next bike would be protected by a sturdy U-lock. I knew that was no guarantee against a repeat theft, but I knew it would greatly reduce the odds of it happening again. I wasn’t to blame, but I could help lower the chance of a repeat occurrence.

This is everything I have to say about the topic of victim blaming.

I’ve gotten involved in a local sex positive community, attending workshops, classes, socials, and events. At a class about consent and boundaries, I learned a technique for when you make a request of someone and they say “No”, you reply with “Thank you for taking care of yourself.” The idea is to help assure the recipient that their boundaries have been heard and respected, with no recriminations, no bargaining, no pleading.

When I first heard the phrase, it sounded artificial and forced and I had a hard time imagining using the expression “in real life”. Trying to be a good sport and give it a fair shake, I made a solid effort at using it a few times. Gradually it felt less weird, and eventually it became something that my girlfriend and I would say to each other in a mundane day-to-day context, often with a wry smile, but still sincerely.

“I’m going to the grocery; want to come with me?”
“No thanks, I’m gonna finish this chore.”
“Okay. Thank you for taking care of yourself.”

Lately, I’ve begun to feel like this expression was also fulfilling a different need, and I’ve spent some time meditating on what that’s about.

If I’m feeling an attraction to someone, it can take some effort and nerve to get around to asking the person if they would like to act on that attraction, whether it’s “Would you like to get coffee?”, or “After the party, feel like coming back to my place?” or “May I give you a hug?”

If the response is a flat “No”, that can be rough to hear. It’s obviously not the response I hope for, and tends to leave me feeling awkward and deflated. I’ve heard a lot of people attempt to handle that challenging moment, often with a lack of grace and decency. “Aww, c’mon, you’ll have a great time! You know you want to!” or “Oh. Well, fuck.” (slink away) or “Fine. I wouldn’t want to fool around with your fat ass anyway.” (stomp away)

In that awkward and vulnerable moment, I am finding great comfort in having a scripted response immediately at the ready. It’s a response that acknowledges that the “No” is more about the other person than it is about me, it’s a response that respects the person’s boundaries, and I leave the encounter on a positive (or at least not negative) note. It has become an expression I enjoy using for my own emotional state, as much or more than for the recipient’s benefit. For me, that’s a significant win.

A brief coda: I was talking about this with two female friends last night and they both expressed surprise at my new perspective on the phrase. It hadn’t occurred to them at all, and we discussed it a bit. It turned out they simply had far less experience with asking and being told “No” than I had. Their experience was that they were much more often in the position of being propositioned, not making a proposition themselves. On the occasions when they did extend an offer, “No” was an infrequent enough response that they didn’t see it as being a significant issue. So it’s possible my new-found appreciation for this phrase will resonate with some genders more than others.

M was not gone from my life very long when I took up a relationship with S. She was a long-time friend and confidant, a member of my logical family for some years. We had even had sex a handful of times, quite enjoyably, but neither of us were in a place to pursue that more frequently or more intentionally, until M left.

Three things came together in a quite unexpected fashion when S and I embarked on a more serious relationship.

First, we started incorporating BDSM into our sex play from the outset. I had long known S was a self-described sensation junkie, with a very high pain threshold. She also had some challenges reaching climax during the early renewal of our relationship, so rougher play and BDSM were a way of reaching some of those intensely transcendent moments during sex without orgasm.

The second major factor was that I took the occasion of deepening our relationship to ask S for some details regarding her past and childhood. Most specifically, I wanted to hear the full story of several years of childhood sexual abuse she endured. This was a fraught process. S had spent a great deal of her adult life trying not to think about that part of her past, had internalized a significant amount of shame and blame about the event, and had never before shared the entire story with anyone. Thankfully, she felt like she could trust me, and we spent long hours over several different meetings going through all of the horrific details.

So there we were. Meeting once a month at the start, very soon moving to once every two weeks, and shortly after that to weekly. Talking very intensely about her childhood sexual abuse. Engaging in some fairly rough sex play and BDSM. Quite unintentionally, the two began to overlap in some unexpected ways. After rough sessions of flogging and spanking, we would take time for aftercare, soothing her skin with oil, reassuring her that she was in a safe space with someone who loved her and cared for her deeply. During those times, she would often flash back to our conversations of her abuse. On some occasions, she flashed back to specific events and details with graphic clarity. Other times she would break down sobbing over the guilt she felt over “letting” the abuse happen. I categorically reject the assertion that a seven-year-old has any agency in sexual abuse inflicted upon them and I started making that case with increasing vigor and firmness. As incredible as it seems to me, this was the first time S had gotten validation that her childhood abuse wasn’t her fault. It took a lot of time, reassurance, and discussion for that idea to begin to take root within her.

The third major factor (remember, up above, I said there were three parts?) was that all of this elevated BDSM activity motivated me to get much more serious about the practice. I spent some considerable time thinking about my own internal ethics and the moral implications of striking a woman, repeatedly and quite hard. Growing up as a good Southern boy with lessons of “you don’t ever hit a woman, ever, for any reason” left its imprint on me and I had to really think deeply about how these new sexual behaviors integrated into that. There are some past posts in this blog where I wrote about that issue at some length. I also did a bunch of research and reading in the neurological science behind pain play and why that “works” so dramatically for some people. The BDSM sessions I planned and executed for S started to follow more specific and intentional patterns, based on that research. Over the course of ten minutes I would gradually escalate a pattern of stimulation, building within S a reservoir of endorphins, ending in a climactic rush of stimulation/pain to dump those into her bloodstream. Then the next ten-minute session would immediately begin and the cycle would be repeated. We would get three or four of those cycles completed before S was effectively “tripping balls” on her own internally-produced endorphin rush.

There was one particularly note-worthy moment that brought all three of these factors together. We were in the midst of an intense BDSM scene. S was standing, arms restrained by padded wrist cuffs. I was behind her with an array of floggers and leather straps, escalating the activity towards another endorphin release. She was at a particularly vulnerable moment, the flogging was really getting to her, there were tears flowing. To this day, I don’t know quite what prompted me to do this, but as I was flogging her, I started asking her, roughly, angrily, “Whose fault was it?”

The first couple of times, she was silent and didn’t answer.

“Whose fault was it?” Thwack!
“Whose fault was it?” Thwack!
Eventually, she responded, breaking down sobbing in the process.
“It was my fault!”, tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Whose fault was it?” Thwack!
“It was my fault,” she answered, more tentatively this time.
“Whose fault was it?” Thwack!
“Whose fault was it?” Thwack!
“His fault?”, this came nervously, tentatively, like she was trying it on for size in her head.
“Whose fault was it?” Thwack!
“It wasn’t my fault.”, this came more firmly, like she was finding sure footing.
“Whose fault was it?” Thwack!
“It wasn’t my fault!” This came out stronger still. She also stood a little taller, and did not shrink from flogger blows.
“Whose fault was it?” Thwack!
“It wasn’t my fault!” This came out as an angry shout, defiant, solid. She flared her back and shoulders, daring me to do my worst. I put my back into it and swung hard.
“Whose fault was it?” Thwack!
“It wasn’t my fault!”
“Whose fault was it?” Thwack!
“It wasn’t my fault!”
“Whose fault was it?” Thwack!

When I released her, the aftercare was especially long, and there was a great deal of crying. However, these weren’t the hot tears of shame and violation, but the cleansing tears of release. For the first time, S was really coming to terms with releasing the responsibility she had been trying to carry.

This experience shaped much of our subsequent BDSM play. Over much time and discussion we would identify issues where she was “stuck” mentally or emotionally and look for ways to bring them to the surface during an intense scene. In the process, her confidence grew and emotional weight she had been carrying for virtually her entire life began to fall off her. She was reframing her memory of the experience, from something that defined her, into something that “merely” happened to her.

My first serious experiences with BDSM were with a former partner, M. A couple of years into the relationship, I bound her arms over her head (standing) and engaged in some sensation play, tickling, and mild spanking. Although it seemed to go well for awhile, she soon had a major meltdown, scene over, lots of aftercare. The experience pushed enough major buttons with her that we avoided that territory assiduously for a great many years after.

Over a decade later (I tend towards pretty long-term relationships), M and I made plans to go to Burning Man as part of a sex-positive theme camp we recalled from our previous Burn. Apparently we only vaguely, sorta, kinda remembered the camp, because “sex-positive” was too vague by half. Once we arrived on playa and started assisting with erecting the camp (phrasing!), we discovered that the camp founders described the camp as “the biggest, baddest BDSM play space on playa”. Both of us worked shifts as “Dungeon Monitors”, helping supervise the public play space. I also attended a “make your own flogger” class on playa and came away with my very first flogger.

Those experiences brought the topic back to the table for M and me, and we explored it with cautious enthusiasm. I was a tentative top, M was my bottom. There was some role playing, bondage, sensation play, spanking (bare handed and with a strap), flogging, anal play, and dominance/submission.

The play was enjoyable and rewarding, but it was also complicated. I didn’t know it at the time, but the relationship with M was on its last legs; she left our home and the relationship three months after that Burn, and hasn’t spoken to me in over two years. So our renewed explorations of BDSM happened in the context of some relationship strife, communication challenges, and more emotional turmoil than usual. Additionally, M and I were both strong believers in a guideline regarding open relationships, “Don’t embark on this journey when your relationship isn’t already pretty solid. Trying this isn’t going to fix your relationship, and in fact might hasten an already-looming demise.”

As such, experimenting with BDSM was something M and I did only when the conditions were just right. She had to be in the right mood, I had to be in the right mood, there couldn’t be any overt drama or communication issues hanging in the air, we had to have a serious chunk of free time available for the scene and ample aftercare. It felt like the stars had to be aligned just so before we were willing to “go there”, and the conditions were unfavorable far more often than they were favorable.

Of course, the picture was further clouded by how new we both were in this space. I was a tentative top, still getting my bearings in this landscape. M was an anxious bottom who really struggled with trusting and letting go. It was a challenging learning process. Then the relationship crumbled to pieces from under me. I have speculated more than once about whether our foray into BDSM contributed straw to our camel’s over-burdened back. Given the lack of subsequent communication between us, I can’t really say.

Regardless, the experience reinforced my belief that BDSM was only viable in the context of a rock-solid relationship, between people who were (separately and together) in a very secure emotional landscape. That belief was soon challenged. Look for Part 2 of this story.

For several months, S and I have been having some deep and real conversations about sexuality with her friend J. J comes from a conservative and religious background, and her marriage is rewarding in a great number of ways, but not always sexually. So we’ve been talking to her about the sexual reawakening S experienced two years ago, talking about kink and BDSM, and talking about open relationships. Not evangelizing, not even trying to talk her into anything, but just sharing our experiences, the journeys we’ve taken, the mistakes we’ve made, and the rewards we’ve found.

Last night, J came over for dinner and talking. Which turned into hot tubbing. Which turned into taking a shower together. Which turned into playing in bed. Followed by more tubbing, more showering, and finally, reluctantly, going to sleep for the night.

Some images that are stuck in my head:

Washing J’s hair in the shower, while my erect cock slid against her ample and luscious backside.

Watching S and J kiss, and kiss, and kiss.

S sucking one of J’s nipples, while I sucked the other, doing our best to drive her out of her mind.

S licking J’s pussy for the first time. “I’ve been waiting to do that for 20 years!”

Fucking S from behind while she licked J’s pussy.

J on her hands and knees, ass high in the air and her head low, whilst I licked and fingered her from behind, giving J her first ever g-spot orgasm and making her squirt a tiny bit.

S fingering J, gradually adding one finger after another until S was fucking J with her entire fist; this was the first time I witnessed fisting first-hand.*

S hanging her head off the side of the bed, me filling her throat with my cock whilst J kissed and sucked S’s pussy.

Fucking S in the sex swing whilst J petted S’s clit and stroked my balls.

J on her back, S lying face down on top of her, me fucking S from behind whilst I held J’s legs high in the air; it almost felt like a pantomime of fucking J.

Giving J a series of especially strong orgasms, making her scream and shake, and finally withdrawing. The powerful, shuddering, after-shock orgasms J would have as much as a minute later from stimulus as simple as licking her nipple.

All in all, it was an amazing, wonderful, delightful night. So much trust, so few inhibitions, such rampant enthusiasm. It’s not quite my birthday yet, but this was one of the best celebrations I could have imagined.

* Pun unintended, but now that I’ve said it, I’m cheerfully taking credit for it.

And then there’s the time you’re fucking one girl in the missionary position, while another girl strokes generous amounts of coconut oil onto your dangling testicles and around the rim of your sphincter.

As has become my tradition for several years, I’m spending the Christmas break at a rental house on the coast with some very dear friends. We pass the time enjoying the stunning view of the ocean waves rolling in, listening to music, cooking ridiculously good food, hiking, soaking in the hot tub, experimenting at the massage table. Most of all, there is an abundance of love and a complete lack of drama or stress.

Of course, one of the people in attendance is a beloved girlfriend. Thus there has been a copious amount of sex. Slow, languid sex; eager, enthusiastic sex; sex in the bright sunlight, bending her over so she can watch the ocean waves break and crash while I plunge into her repeatedly; sex in the middle of the night, in the dark, still quiet, face-to-face, while clutching tightly and kissing deeply.

My only regret (and it is a tiny thing compared to the abundance of awesomeness) is that the friends are not “that kind” of friends. The girlfriend and I are very considerate about keeping our enthusiasm private and the most salacious thing we do in front of each other is walk around in nothing more than a shirt and pleasantly snug underwear.

In an ideal world, I’d have that ideal magical combination; friends that I love enough to be fully relaxed and open with, and friends who are uninhibited and lusty enough to be sexual in front of. I’m picturing the two women sitting on the couch with their legs spread, holding hands, whilst enthusiastic attendants sit on the floor and lazily suck and lap at their pussies. I want to be fucking my girl on a sheepskin rug in front of the fireplace, get up briefly to take some photos from across the room of another couple riding together in blissful pleasure, and then return to the open thighs awaiting me. I want a four-hand massage to seamlessly segue to four-hand petting, with one hand in her pussy, one on her clit, one pinching a nipple, and another gently pulling hair.

As I say, this is more of an ideal than a complaint. Off-hand, I can’t recall having a better Christmas (and I’ve had some really amazing Christmases in my time). But that doesn’t mean I can’t fantasize about something even better.

I don’t think I’ve talked about this previously on the blog, but I’ve had some reasonably serious training in massage therapy. There was a period where I took a rush of massage classes and amassed nearly 500 hours of training. In the process, I managed to convince myself that massage was never something I’d want to do for a living. But it’s definitely something that has enriched my life and that I really enjoy. I still own a table and it is set up and prepared for use at a moment’s notice. Lately I’ve been more proactive about finding friends and acquaintances who are interested in receiving massages; I really enjoy the practice and find it incredibly grounding and rewarding.

Note: Despite how sexually voracious I may appear to be on this blog, I maintain some hard and fast lines around the massage table. My basic rule is, I never do anything for the first time on the massage table. If I haven’t seen you naked before, then you’re going to be professionally and respectfully draped on my table. If we’ve never had a sexual relationship before, then I’m damn sure not crossing that line while someone is vulnerable and trusting on my table.

With that setup in mind, I have recently started a sexual relationship with a new partner. The relationship is delightful and so very rewarding in a number of ways, but there is one aspect of it in particular that is echoing through my head lately. This partner is rather fond of intense and extreme sensations. Where most people tend to pull back from pain, she really enjoys leaning into it. I mean, really enjoys it, to an extent I’ve not experienced before.

I recently had her on the massage table (note: after we had already started a sexual relationship) and over the course of the massage started playing with how her pain response manifested on the massage table. There are some spots on the body where people really tend to carry their tension, places where you learn to move very slowly and gently, and only gradually apply some pressure. I eased into it by approaching those spots as slowly and as cautiously as I normally would, and then gradually increasing pressure beyond where I normally would. For instance, my partner was supine and I stood at the head of the table with the base of my palms on her pec minor (on the chest between the clavicle and the breast tissue). I spent a little time warming up the area and getting the blood flowing, doing some smoothing strokes down the length of the muscle. When I felt her relax into it a little, I moved my fingers into her anterior axilla (the front of the armpit), hooked my fingertips under her pec minor and applied a gentle traction trying to stretch and elongate the muscle. Her legs twitched and her hips shifted as she adjusted to the intensity of the sensation. To my surprise and delight, she then arched her back and pulled against me, intensifying the pull against her muscle. I shifted my stance and braced my pisiform (the bony point at the ulnar base of the palm) against her pec and leaned into it. Her chest dropped and she cried out softly, but then almost immediately she arched her back and pressed into it. I leaned in with more body weight, she groaned and then arched into it even more. We continued taking turns escalating intensity for a few more rounds, and then I finally let my palms slowly glide down until I was cupping her breasts. I firmly seized her nipples between my thumb and knuckle and pinched roughly until she was sucking air through her teeth.

The pattern repeated multiple times across her body over the next hour. I rolled her prone on the table and dug my fingers into her soleus (deep in the calf) until she was beating her fists on the table and crying out. When I moved to her thighs, I drove the knuckles of my closed fists along up her hamstrings, from the back of her knee all the way up to her gluteal fold. I leaned increasing amounts of my body weight into each stroke until she was writhing from the sensation. I flattened out my hands and spread my fingers and repeated the stroke, reaching higher and higher, until the middle finger of one hand slid right into her dripping wet pussy. After several iterations of that, I left my finger in her cunt and slid my other hand under her hip and let her use her body weight to grind my fist into her glutes and hip rotators. Some time later, I hooked my finger into her pussy and pressed firmly against her g-spot. Her hips came off the table and I lifted her legs into the air over her head. When she found her balance, partially inverted with my fingers curled inside her pussy, she shifted her legs and used her body weight to expertly ride the very edge of how much pressure her g-spot could take.

It went on for over an hour, grinding and pushing and writhing. Panting from the exertion, groaning from the pain/pleasure. Sweat and oil glistening over taut and straining muscles. So many separate interests came together in such an amazing way; that primal love of skin-to-skin contact, the grinning pleasure of searching for someone’s physical boundaries and then inching right up against that line, pushing my knowledge of anatomy and body leverage to new uses and understanding, and that raw unbridled joy from giving someone else intense physical, sexual pleasure and release. I don’t think I’ve ever had an experience like that before and it’s hard to imagine having that kind of experience with someone else; it seems unique to our separate and complimentary kinks.

When it ended I was simultaneously drained and energized, grinning and dizzy. I am so very impatient for a repeat performance.

19. September 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: link, personal · Tags:

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of sex swings. Being able to rock your partner back and forth while they are fully supported and your hands are free to roam… what’s not to like?! But my brief experiences with them in the past has always been “meh”.

Those swings were basically wide straps: a broad strap that sits under the hips, another strap that runs under the shoulder blades, and then two smaller stirrup straps for the feet. This sounds good in theory, but in practice it seems like it leaves the… “swinger?” feeling rather unsupported and at risk of slipping out and falling. Which is not the sort of anxious mood you want for sexy times.

But at the RetroFrolic camp at BurningMan I had an opportunity to try a different kind of swing, one with a broad sheet of leather that fully supports the user across the bottom and back. It even has a little head pillow! It was definitely the sort of experience that allowed the user to fully recline and relax in confidence and abandon. Playing with this swing was pretty awesome!

In fact, the experience was so inspiring, I had to have one of my own. *grin* Here it is!

My new sex swing!


The install was only finished yesterday and I’ve barely had a chance to try it. But so far, it easily measures up to my memories of last month! Yay, for new toys!

If you’re curious, the swing came from a company called Strict Leather that sells through Amazon.

A friend (with extraordinary benefits) was having dinner with her best friend and several of their female friends. The conversation turned to a Huffington Post article on “Cliteracy

My friend then mentioned a video I had shared of Betty Dodson drawing the internal anatomy of the clitoris.

Finally, the topic turned to female ejaculation, “squirting”. Of all of the sex positive women at the table, only my friend had ever experienced it before. The rest of the women were listening to her describe it, eyes wide open, mouths gaping. “And I only had it happen for the first time with a new boyfriend last December.” Her best friend thinks for a second and then says with glee, “Oh, Mr Thumbs!”

Yes, dear friends, I was the aforementioned “new boyfriend”, and apparently her bestie remembers me as “Mr Thumbs”.

For reasons I will leave to your imagination.